A FEW days ago, the Knesset approved the Jewish State Law. The approval closed a new window in front of the settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians, while opening more gates of concessions provided by leaders of different groups — either individually or altogether.
Giving up the right to return comes on top of the concessions after the countries sheltering Palestinian refugees became alternative nations. This all happened while the groups’ leaders have been following the same policy for more than 70 years. They have not changed their attitude which led to defeats, disasters and the ‘Nakba’ (Catastrophe).
Some months ago, America decided to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem which, according to the Americans, is the permanent capital city of Israel. Nothing has changed although the Palestinians and Arabs condemned the decision. Actually, it is not strange as long as the Palestinian issue is progressing within the course of concessions.
It is worthy to mention some historical events concerning the Arab-Israeli struggle. The late King Abdulaziz addressed the Arabs: “Do not send armies to Palestine. Just support Palestinians in the form of money and weapons. Let them restore their country and provide political support from around the world.”
On the other hand, the Palestinian request at the time was limited to support of Arab armies for Palestine. The Rescue Army was formed, but it soon turned into the most effective factor in the Palestinian defeat in 1948, known as ‘Nakba’. Since then, ‘nakbas’ and concessions followed one after the other; ending with the transformation of Palestinian groups into rifles for rent.
By the way, I remember in 1965 when the young Palestinian engineer, Yasser Arafat, came to my office accompanied by Hani Al-Hassan. I remember that he took a passport photo from his pocket saying, “I would like this photo to be published with the caption stating that the Fatah Movement brothers appointed me as secretary of the Central Committee of the movement.”
I responded: “Until now, we do not know the name of one of the Vietnamese resistance leaders who fought against a super power. We do not know any of the commanders of the Algerian revolution while you rush to the media and neglect the main issue.” Arafat then said: “This is the desire of the Fatah Movement brothers.”
Previously, the newly formed Palestinian groups adopted the views of different Arab countries and later became the political fronts for those countries. The supporters of Gamal Abdel Nasser attacked Saudi Arabia and accused it of reactionism. Those who allied with the Ba’ath Party in Iraq stood as enemies of Syria, whereas the supporters of Muammar Gaddafi attacked all Arab countries.
This led to the loss of Palestine due to slogans. The best description of the Palestinian situation was the statement of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on the morning of Aug 22, 1969 — a day after the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque. She said, “I did not sleep last night as I imagined the Arabs storming into Palestine from everywhere. When morning came and nothing happened, I realized we can do whatever we want. That nation is sleeping.”
In the Vietnamese resistance against France and then America, we know very few names including Ho Chí Minh. Focus was on fighters in the jungles and swamps. Neither the Soviet Union nor China sent their forces to support the Vietnamese. They were contented in providing weapons and media support until 1975 when America admitted its defeat. The Vietnamese leadership at the time appointed a Popular Army officer with a small body frame to state the conditions for the Americans.
Earlier, the Algerian revolution against the French occupation lasted for 132 years. Names of the revolution commanders were always kept a secret within the era of struggle. We did not see any of the leaders seeking heroism by claiming to be a ‘revolution icon’ through the media.
I remember the visit of a political Algerian delegation to Kuwait. They stayed in Abdullah Al-Salem where the previous headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was located. I remember that Al-Akhdar Al-Ibrahimi headed the delegation. During that period, the Kuwaiti-Iraqi relations were strained. When Al-Ibrahimi was asked about his position on the Iraqi-Kuwaiti dispute, he said: “We just came from Baghdad and I still feel the taste of Iraqi dates in my mouth. We came here to explain our issue, just like what we did in Baghdad. We do not interfere in the internal affairs of sisterly countries.”
Algeria was liberated from the French occupation. It imposed the revolutionary conditions on Charles de Gaulle, founder of the fifth republic. Later, we figured out the names of the commanders of that grand revolution.
On the other hand, we know that many Palestinian groups, organizations and movements worked according to the tendencies of different Arab countries. In 1969, they tried to make Jordan as the alternative nation. When they failed to reach this target, they moved to Lebanon where they engaged in killing and devastation. Some Palestinian groups there, like the group of Abu Nedal, turned into rifles for rent. They conducted bombing and assassination operations in favor of the Iraqi intelligence, Libya and others.
Yasser Arafat, who chaired the Executive Committee for Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and served as Secretary of Fatah Movement, denied the role of Kuwait which witnessed the founding of his own movement. He supported Saddam Hussein in invading Kuwait. Furthermore, some Palestinian groups attacked Kuwaitis.
Today, some Palestinians are fighting in favor of Iran, while Hamas works toward starving millions of Palestinians in cooperation with the mother group — the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas receives directives from Khalid Mesha’al who is staying in a luxurious hotel in Qatar and working according to the strategy of the Mullah regime in Tehran.
It is not strange that Israel insists on implementing its policy — the Judaization of Palestine and Jerusalem, simply because whoever fights through the television screens and from luxurious hotels will never set his country free. Nations turn into tasty bites if people refrain from liberating them. It is easy to manipulate the fate of millions of citizens as long as the commanders are engaged in the hypocrisy of Arab regimes and echo their slogans.
Thus, the Jewish State Law will be nothing more than one drop into the sea of wasted rights of Palestinians who are waiting for Arab countries to liberate their nation so they can come back as tourists to their homeland.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times